A lunar month is divided into two fortnights. From the new moon to the full moon, and from the full moon to the new moon. The first phase is called the Shukla Paksha
while the second is the Krishna Paksha. Ekadashi is the 11th day of the fortnight. Kamika Ekadashi falls on the 11th day of the Krishna Paksha, in the month of Shravan (July-August in the Gregorian calendar).
When is Kamika Ekadashi 2023?
Kamika Ekadashi 2023 falls on 13th July 2023.
Important Timings Of Kamika Ekadashi 2023
This is the best period for worshipping Lord Vishnu. Fasting during Kamika Ekadashi washes away past sins from the soul of the person. It also fulfills the pious desires of the devotee. The story of Kamika Ekadashi is believed to be narrated to Yudhishtir by Lord Krishna. Before that, it was narrated to King Dilip by Saint Vashishta.
||July 13, 2023, 5:53 AM
||July 13, 2023, 7:11 PM
|Dwadashi End Moment
||July 14, 2023, 7:17 PM
|Ekadashi Tithi Begins
||July 12, 2023, 6:00 PM
|Ekadashi Tithi Ends
||July 13, 2023, 6:25 PM
|Hari Vasara End Moment
||July 14, 2023, 12:38 AM
||July 14, 5:53 AM – July 14, 8:33 AM
Story Behind Kamika Ekadashi
A long time ago, there was a landlord in a village. Though kind at heart, this landlord was short-tempered and prone to violence. One day he got into an argument with the priest over some trivial matters. In anger, he hit the priest and the priest died. Instantly the landlord was filled with regret and fear as killing a Brahmin was the worst sin one could commit. He was scared for his soul. He tried to repent for his actions by taking part in the cremation rituals of the priest. But the relatives and friends of the priest shoved him away.
The landlord felt dejected with the weight of sin crushing his body and mind. In desperation, he went and fell at the feet of a saint who was passing through the village. The saint told the landlord to observe fast on Kamika Ekadashi. The landlord did as he was told. He slept beside the idol of Lord Vishnu. During sleep, Lord Vishnu appeared in his dreams and freed him of his sins. The story symbolizes the merit of observing fast on Kamika Ekadashi as the devotee can get rid of the worst sins they committed in this life or any other life.
Worship of Lord Vishnu
On the Ekadashi day, the devotee should get up early in the morning, ideally during the Brahma muhurta (4 a.m.). After the bath comes the prayer dedicated to Lord Vishnu. During fasting, the person should not consume water and the entire day should be spent in the worship of Lord Vishnu. Panchamrit, flowers, fruits, milk, and sesame seeds should be offered. Gifting a Brahmin with money and food is a vital part of the tradition. A devotee who properly observes penance during Kamika Ekadashi may see all his desires fulfilled.
Importance of Kamika Ekadashi
Kamika Ekadashi is one of the most auspicious days in the Vedic calendar. A person worshipping Lord Vishnu on this day achieves the highest of spiritual merits. Taking baths in holy rivers and places of spiritual significance is an important part of the tradition of Kamika Ekadashi. Observing fast during this day is as auspicious as holding the Ashwamedha Yagna. The devotee should start the day by offering various gifts and delicacies to Lord Vishnu. The aarti should include dhoop, lamps, and sandalwood.
Observing penance on this day also gets rid of the Pitru Dosha. Pitru Dosha indicates the bad effects caused by planets in the horoscope or bad deeds done by the forefather of a person, or by the person himself, in this life or an earlier one. The devotee can also free himself from material desires and get one step closer to attaining Moksha. It is believed that a person worshipping Lord Vishnu during Shravan month gets the same result as worshipping Naga gods and the Gandharvas. The leaves of Tulsi plants are used to worship Lord Vishnu on this day. A devotee who does this will be able to free himself of all sins.
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Dos and Don’ts of Kamika Ekadashi
Rise early, preferably during the Brahma Muhurta, and take a bath. Wear simple, clean, and comfortable clothes. Remain focused and keep changing prayers to Lord Vishnu so that you succeed in observing the vrat. Ensure clarity of mind, words, and deeds throughout the day. Do not eat onions, garlic, and other Tamasic foods. Do not eat rice, wheat, and lentils. Eat only fruits and vrat recipes. Keep chanting the divine mantra – om namo bhagavate vasudevaya. Do not consume alcohol, tobacco, or meat. Always remain calm and do not let yourself be provoked to anger. Do not sleep in the evening.
Things to Observe on Kamika Ekadashi
One who observes Kamika Ekadashi and also worships Lord Vishnu may achieve greater merit than one who has darshan of Lord Kedaranatha in the Himalayas, or one who bathes at Kurukshetra during a solar eclipse. It is worthier than donating your entire savings to charity. It carries more piety than bathing in the Gandaki River or Godavari River on a full moon day that falls on a Monday when Leo and Jupiter are conjoined.
Observing penance during Kamika Ekadashi is as meritorious a deed as donating a milk cow and her calf. Whoever worships Lord Vishnu on this day is glorified by the gods, Gandharvas, and Nagas.
Observing penance is also constructive for less evolved souls who are oblivious of their past sins and are completely immersed in sinful material life. Doing this may liberate them from the trap of worldly desires. Kamika Ekadashi is the purest of all days and the most auspicious for removing sins. One who fasts on Kamika Ekadashi will gain more merit than studying all the spiritual literature.
A devotee who fasts on Kamika Ekadashi and remains awake through the night will not have to endure the anger of Yamaraja. They will attain moksha from the cycle of birth and rebirth and will not have to suffer future births. Many yogis who fasted on this day have moved on peacefully to the spiritual world. Following their footsteps and observing strict fasting on Kamika Ekadashi will cleanse the body and soul of past sins.
Worshipping Lord Vishnu with leaves of tulsi will free one from all implications of sin. He may live untouched by sin just like the lotus leaf in dirty water is untouched by it. Offering a single leaf from a tulsi tree to Lord Vishnu grants the devotee as much merit as one who gives away gold and silver in charity.
Worshipping Lord Vishnu with a single tulsi leaf is more virtuous than using pearls, rubies, topaz, diamonds, lapis lazuli, sapphires, gomeda stones, cat’s eye gems, and coral.
Offering Lord Vishnu newly grown manjaris from the sacred tulsi plant will rid the devotee of all the sins he has committed during this or any other lifetime. The mere darshan of tulsi on Kamika Ekadashi day can alleviate all sins and praying to her will remove all kinds of diseases. One who waters the tulsi will not ever have to endure the wrath of Yamaraja. One who plants or transplants tulsi will eventually reside with Lord Vishnu in Vaikuntha. One should offer their respect and pray to Tulsi Devi every day.
Offering a burning ghee lamp to the Tusi plant is a meritorious act beyond the scope of even Chitragupta, Yamaraja’s secretary. So dear is Kamika Ekadashi to Lord Vishnu that all the forefathers of the devotee who lights a bright ghee lamp on this day ascend to heavenly planets and drink nectar there. This sacred day nullifies even the sin of killing a brahmana or of killing an unborn child in the womb. It promotes one to the spiritual world by making one supremely meritorious.